Into the Ziggurat!

Report from the 4/14/16 lunch-hour session.

The party left the Traders’ Mound and headed back to the roadside stone platform where they came through the one-way Gate, in hopes of finding some clue that would enable them to return to their own world.  The spell of protection laid upon them by the svirfneblin was of little comfort, and few of the adventurers had any real enthusiasm about entering the Black Ziggurat.  Not finding anything, they pressed onward, with the faint hope that the ominous structure looming in the near distance contained not only the answer to the mystery of their missing patron, but also a return Gate to the undercity of Satur…

Arriving at the Ziggurat unchallenged, the party ascended the wide main stair, flanked on each side at regular intervals by squared pillars capped with domes of smoky gray quartz.  The double doors at the head of the stairs was tall, twenty feet or more, and of a flat black metal.  Mixit, one of the warriors, stepped forward to knock; she felt a pricking at the knuckle as her hand contacted the door, and the doors swung silently inward.

The vast entry hall was dark.  As they carefully made their way into the chamber, the party’s light sources revealed doors in the east and west walls, two 5′-diameter holes in the floor spaced 40′ apart, with a facedown human corpse between them.  The group’s curiosity was piqued by the corpse’s accoutrements: grey mesh-looking suit, metallic belt, and a strange tubelike device.  The cause of death was a crushed skull, which Yee Mun (who had some training as a healer) determined to have been received by falling from a great height…

As the party looked up towards the high ceiling, from out of the darkness swooped two spindly, bat-winged creatures with blank visages and barbed tails — Nightgaunts!  One of the nightgaunts grabbed a surprised Aseret and proceeded to hoist the warrior up into the air.  Mixit narrowly dodged the other’s clawed grasp, and the fight was on.  The party managed to slay the unburdened nightgaunt, which swooped to clutch with claws and lash with barbed tail, without much difficulty.  Aseret, on the other hand, struggled mightily in vain to free her awkwardly-pinioned arm so to swing her torch at the creature’s featureless face.  Yee Mun concentrated and cast a feather fall spell on Aseret — just in time, as seconds later the remaining nightgaunt released the warrior.  Rather than tumbling to a messy doom below, Aseret floated down.  Seeing the death of its companion, and possibly perplexed by the unexpected behavior of its prey, the nightgaunt retreated up into the dark recesses of the ceiling.

When it seemed clear that the nightgaunt wouldn’t be returning soon, the party warily turned back to their examination of the human corpse’s items.  After some careful experimentation, the party divided up the mesh armor (soak 2), force-field belt, flame projector, and boots, resolving at the next session to examine the two holes in the floor.

nightgaunt_by_dloliver-d4gwy2j

NIGHTGAUNT
Strength 2, Agility 2, Mind 0, Lifeblood 10
Brawl 1, Defense 1, Armor 2 (leathery hide)
Attacks: Claws (+3, grapple/lift), Barbed tail (+3, damage 1D)
Traits: Flyer, Stealthy

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